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LEBANON – The College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest and its students recently gained eligibility for the Primary Health Care Loan Forgiveness Program through the Oregon Office of Rural Health.

The program requires students to participate in a special Rural Health Track, which teaches them about the unique aspects of rural health care.

Starting in their first year of medical school, students may apply for an Oregon state specific loan forgiveness program, which may provide as much as $35,000 per school year. In return, recipients promise to practice in a rural Oregon community for each year they receive the loan. Ten percent of their clinical rotations must be in rural regions.

Students may apply who intend to go into primary care residencies, including family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics and general surgery.

Students in COMP-Northwest’s Rural Health Track cohort will complete the standard DO curriculum offered by COMP, as well as an innovative curriculum with training in core competencies vital to the practice of primary care medicine in rural and medically underserved communities.

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The curriculum includes on-campus and online teaching sessions, participation in the Family Medicine Rural Health Club and a community project.

The Rural Health Track is open to the COMP-Northwest Classes of 2016 and 2017.

Students are encouraged to submit an application to Kate McCaffrey, DO, kmccaffrey@westernu.edu, or Paul Aversano, DO, paversano@westernu.edu.

COMP-Northwest Class of 2016 students enrolled in the Rural Health Track are also further invited to submit an application for the Loan Forgiveness Program to Brooke Sturtevant at sturtevb@ohsu.edu.

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